Posts by: Stephanie

One woman’s journey toward healing after abortion

One woman’s journey toward healing after abortion

Yesterday on Right Here, Right Now with Chris Aubert Chris read an e-mail he received from a listener telling the story of her journey toward healing after her abortion. Please pray for this woman, her family, and all who are affected by abortion.

Dear Mr. Aubert,

I have a story to tell, it unfortunately is an “ordinary” story. But, a couple of weeks ago, I heard another “ordinary” story retold by you on the radio about miscarriage. It inspired me to write my story. Before, I always thought my story was too ordinary to inspire, but what if I am wrong…

Twenty one years ago, I was a senior in college. My boyfriend and I had been dating for two years, but we had been “the on-and-off type” never quite breaking up, but very close to it for about a year. He was a very studious college student, who didn’t have much time for spending with me, and that always hurt my feelings. I soon became lonely and started dating others, without his knowledge. I had a couple of one-night stands and soon found out I was pregnant. I did not tell my boyfriend, and told him that we needed to break-up for good. When my doctor asked me if I was going to keep the baby, I said I would. I had never believed in abortion. Being raised in a different faith, I knew that abortion was killing babies and never thought differently. Although I had wandered away from my faith, these beliefs stayed true.

A couple weeks went by and my boyfriend contacted me. He came to my house and told me how much he loved me and wanted to stay together. I told him the news of my pregnancy. I cried and he cried. He told me it was ok, that we could raise a baby. But, then I had to tell him that the baby probably was not his. He was devastated. He cried bitterly. I asked him to leave and wept in my own sorrow.

As the days went by, the loss of my boyfriend became very depressing. I tried to focus on the new baby and the joy it could bring me. My boyfriend called and begged for me to say that the baby was his. But, I could not. I knew it wasn’t. He asked to see me and we met up a couple of times. I could see the break-up was hurting him too. I couldn’t bear it any longer. I began to contemplate abortion. I just couldn’t bear the agony of losing my boyfriend. It is exhausting to say that I would choose him over my baby. I told him of my plans and as we talked, we began to justify it in our minds.

Within a few days, we were on our way to the abortion clinic. I remember almost every detail. I remember the protesters picketing outside the clinic. I thought how I wished they wouldn’t be there. I remember where I checked in. I remember the ultrasound, that I wouldn’t look at. I just wanted it over. I remember the pain during the procedure and the tears in my eyes. I spent an hour in a recovery room with about five other women. I remember no one talked, or looked at each other. I assume they felt like me, numb to the world.

I met my boyfriend in the lobby, he had already payed for the procedure. Not wanting to go home, we decided to go to eat dinner. I had taken some medicine, but still felt nauseous. I vomited in the parking lot, while my boyfriend rubbed my back. We ate in silence. Still not wanting to return to our families’ homes, we went to the movies. We watched Forest Gump, it was the second time we had seen it, but it was just a place to go and sit. I have never watched that movie again, because it reminds me of the beginning of my emptiness… the emptiness that would not go away. Not for a very long time.

Well, my boyfriend and I went through the motions of getting back to life. We never broke up again. In fact, we got married! He is now my husband. We never speak of it. I brought it up one time during the first months we were married, because of the nagging reality that we had done something horribly wrong. My husband told me that he too knew it was wrong but we would get through it and God would forgive us.

There were times I would forget about it for months at a time, but it never truly left. I spiraled into a 15 year depression. First, I blamed it on my marriage…my husband wasn’t affectionate enough, a workaholic. Then, I just blamed it on my body chemistry and tried medicine for depression.

You could say it was my two beautiful children that saved me. We have a son and a daughter. I had promised my husband that when we got married, I’d help him raise the kids Catholic. Not being Catholic myself it was quite the task to make my way through raising little Catholics. It began with Mass on Sundays, then Christmas pageants, then I signed them up for religious education. I was making sure my children knew God and in the process, I found God.

I had resigned to the fact that I was “spiritual”, not religious. Ridiculous! Here I was taking my kids to Mass, with or without my husband, sewing angel costumes for the pageants, and rushing my kids to Religion every Wednesday night. I’m sure God was working on me! The year my son was to be confirmed and receive first holy communion and my daughter would celebrate her first reconciliation, I decided to hop on and become Catholic. I started the RCIA process, thinking it would just be easier if I joined the family’s faith. This wasn’t something my husband had ever asked me to do…but I needed to do something! My relationship with my husband was weak and fragile…but I didn’t want to lose him. I thought maybe this could help my family stay stronger. Little did I know that it was me who would be made stronger.

I was baptized and confirmed on Easter in 2010. My sins were washed away, I received the Holy Spirit, and began my road to recovery. I found God through prayer and embraced my depression. I am blessed that I could be relieved of my sins.

This abortion has wreaked havoc on my marriage for 20 years. I pray for guidance and strength to make things right with my husband, but I’m still that young woman sitting in the waiting room, afraid to look into my husbands eyes and say…this was wrong…we need closure.

Please pray for me and my family, that we may overcome the evil of my abortion.

I murdered my baby, I am sorry! Society failed me, my government did not protect me or my baby! This is an ordinary story that must stop! Women and babies are falling victim to this every day. Mothers are mourning the death of their babies, fathers are childless, people aren’t talking, depression is taking over lives!

Please do what you like with this letter, maybe it will inspire someone to choose life, maybe it will help someone stand up against abortion. I hope so!

Listen to Chris discuss this woman’s story on Right Here, Right Now.

Signatures being gathered in California to overturn physician-assisted suicide law

Signatures being gathered in California to overturn physician-assisted suicide law

From the California Catholic Conference:

Many parishes in California over the next few weeks will see volunteers gathering signatures for a referendum to overturn the new physician-assisted suicide law signed by Gov. Brown last month.

The new law – which the Bishops of California have called a “travesty of compassion” – fundamentally changes the physician-patient relationship.   It is especially dangerous for the most vulnerable members of society.  (See complete coverage here.) 

The effort to legalize a doctor writing prescriptions for a lethal dose of drugs highlights the “throw-away culture” Pope Francis has warned us against.  In speaking to doctors last year, His Holiness spoke clearly of the dangers of such a policy:

“The dominant thinking sometimes suggests a “false compassion”, that which believes that it is: helpful to women to promote abortion; an act of dignity to obtain euthanasia; a scientific breakthrough to “produce” a child and to consider it to be a right rather than a gift to welcome; or to use human lives as guinea pigs presumably to save others.”  

Other initiatives of particular interest to Catholics are also circulating but they have more time to gather signatures and a lower number of signatures required. Information on some other efforts will be available in the coming weeks.

For information on referendum signature gathering efforts in your community, contact your diocesan respect life or social action director.

Bishop Barron on the Myth of Science vs. Religion

Bishop Barron on the Myth of Science vs. Religion

Bishop Robert Barron has spent a lot of time over the years discussing the relationship between science and religion – especially refuting New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens – to show that the war between science and religion is a myth. In a recent Los Angeles Times article, Bishop Barron explains why science and religion are not enemies, but allies that lead us on the path to truth. He writes:

The modern physical sciences were, in fact, made possible by the religious milieu out of which they emerged. It is no accident that modern science first appeared in Christian Europe, where a doctrine of creation held sway. To hold that the world is created is to accept, simultaneously, the two assumptions required for science: namely, that the universe is not divine and that it is intelligible.

If the world or nature were considered divine (as it is in many philosophies and mysticisms), then one would never allow oneself to analyze it, dissect it or perform experiments on it. But a created world, by definition, is other than God and, in that very otherness, open to inquiry.

Similarly, if the world were considered unintelligible, no science would get off the ground, because all science is based on the presumption that nature can be known. But the world, Christians agree, is thoroughly intelligible, and hence scientists have the confidence to seek, explore and experiment.

This is why thoughtful people — Christians and atheists alike — must battle the myth of the eternal warfare of science and religion. We must continually preach, as St. John Paul II did, that faith and reason are complementary and compatible paths toward the knowledge of truth.

Read the full article at the Los Angeles Times.